Michigan DNRE Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Applications Now Available

Michigan DNRE Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Applications Now Available

Michigan DNR
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- The Department of Natural Resources and Environment will once again offer a cooperative funding program designed to support deer habitat improvement projects in the Upper Peninsula, DNRE officials announced today.

Now in its third year, the Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative fosters cooperative projects between non-government organizations and the DNRE that will enhance habitat for white-tailed deer.

The initiative is funded by the state’s Deer Range Improvement Program (DRIP), and in 2011, a total of $50,000 will be made available through a competitive application process. Proposals for deer habitat improvement projects in the Upper Peninsula seeking from $2,000 to $10,000 in cooperative funding will be considered.

Organizations, either independent or affiliated with larger groups, with a formal mission to promote wildlife conservation and/or hunting, will be eligible to apply for the cooperative funding. While the habitat improvement projects can take place on privately-owned land, Commercial Forest Act-enrolled land, or other non-state-owned land, projects that provide public access through foot traffic will be prioritized. Representatives of sportsmen’s groups or conservation organizations are encouraged to contact their local DNRE wildlife biologist for help in developing acceptable projects.

“There are three primary goals applicants should strive to meet,” said DNRE wildlife biologist and DHIPI coordinator Bill Scullon. “The projects should produce tangible deer habitat improvements, build long-term partnerships between the DNRE and sportsmen’s clubs or other groups, and be good candidates for publicity and showcasing to the public.”

In 2010, six deer habitat improvement projects were funded in the Upper Peninsula. The projects included the planting of red oak seedlings in Gogebic and Mackinac counties; small clover plot plantings on 50 acres in Delta and Menominee counties; wildlife orchard plantings in Dickinson County; rehabilitation of an historic wildlife opening with clovers and other forage in Ontonagon County; and 300 acres planted with 50,000 red oak seedlings in Alger and Schoolcraft Counties.

“These deer habitat improvement projects are good examples of how sportsmen’s clubs and other organizations can help improve or create vital deer habitat in their local area, while working with the DNRE’s wildlife biologists to make sure the best available science is utilized,” Scullon said.

Project applications are due by March 31, and successful applicants will be notified by April 15. Proposed projects will be evaluated and competitively scored on a range of criteria by a multi-disciplinary selection committee. For an application package, contact Scullon at 906-353-6651, by email at [email protected], or at the DNRE Baraga Operations Service Center, 427 US Hwy 41, Baraga, MI, 49908.

The DRIP, begun in 1971, is funded with a $1.50 allocation from each deer license sold, except for senior licenses, equaling $2.2 to $2.8 million in funding annually. For more information about deer management in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/deer.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/dnre.